The 2012-2013 flu season started earlier than expected and, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, flu activity in mid-January “was high across most of the United States.” You likely interact with a large number of people at work, which increases your chances at coming in contact with illness.
Yet by taking a few precautions, you can help minimize your susceptibility to colds and flu. Try these 5 tips as a starting point:
Wash your hands (often): It sounds like a no-brainer, but frequently washing your hands with soap and warm water is an easy way to fight germs. If you’re under the weather, the CDC recommends washing your hands after you cough, sneeze or blow your nose.
Clean your workspace: Take a few minutes to regularly clean your desk, computer and telephone, which will help minimize the spread of illness-inducing germs. We don’t know about you, but we tend to work better when our areas are clean and organized — so consider this an instant boost to your productivity, too!
Snack wisely: Need a midday energy boost? Try fresh fruits and veggies or a smoothie. Healthy foods are a great way to help keep your immune system in tip-top shape. Plus, maintaining a healthy diet can keep you more focused and productive, too.
Rest up: It can be easy to sacrifice sleep in the face of a looming deadline or other responsibilities. Yet getting enough sleep is an important part of keeping yourself rested and healthy. And if you do feel an illness coming on, try getting eight to 10 hours of sleep each night.
Break a sweat: Whether you opt to exercise while at work or once you’re home, make physical fitness a priority. Just as a healthy diet and plenty of rest can keep your immune system strong, so can regular exercise.
And if you do get sick, stay home if at all possible and give yourself time to heal and rest. If being away from work makes you nervous or apprehensive, enlist the help of a colleague who can oversee essential tasks while you’re out of the office — and don’t forget to return the favor.
How do you stay healthy in the office? We’d love to hear your tips!